Will tape BULK ERASER erase a dead HD?

Posted on 2010-08-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have an unusable / dead hard drive. It is under warranty. I must return the defective drive. I do not want to leave my data on it naturally. I have a HEAVY DUTY a.c. operated bulk tape eraser that will completely wipe clean any audio tape or any video tape. I am wondering if I apply it to the exterior of my defective hard drive if it will erase the data? PLEASE ONLY ANSWER this question if you are 95% or more SURE that your answer is correct. I have my own opinion, but it is not based on fact. I need to be sure on this as most people would also be.
Question by:Need-a-Clue
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 96

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 225 total points
ID: 33550161
Most of the third paragraph from
"The only magnets powerful enough to scrub data from a drive platter are laboratory degaussers or those used by government agencies to wipe bits off media. "In the real world, people are not losing data from magnets," says Bill Rudock, a tech-support engineer with hard-drive maker Seagate. "In every disk," notes Rudock, "there's one heck of a magnet that swings the head.""

If the data is that sensitive you can't afford to have it even looked at accidentally, to heck with your warranty.  Hard Drives are $40-80 for most sizes up to 1 TB.  Just get a new one.
LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 225 total points
ID: 33550172
Here's an article that says it won't work:  And here's a company that makes machine that will do it:  You don't want one of those in your house.  There is a reason that the 'remote control' is usable from 45 feet away...

LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 50 total points
ID: 33550178
If it is strong enough and the magnetic field can pass the metal case of the drive, then yes, but since tapes usually only have plastic cases you don't need a very strong degausser for them, so it is possible that it isn't strong enough for an HD.
Why Off-Site Backups Are The Only Way To Go

You are probably backing up your data—but how and where? Ransomware is on the rise and there are variants that specifically target backups. Read on to discover why off-site is the way to go.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 33550275
THANKS EVERYONE! Looks like I'll have to dig up another solution. Your research is appreciated. I WOULD buy  a new one BUT Dell wants their OWN drive back OR they charge incredibly inflated prices.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33550279
Soo... tell Dell forget it.  And go to and buy a new drive.  They won't replace the existing one, but you won't have to worry about problems.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 33550293
Or bore holes into the drive, or open it and scratch the surfaces of the platters, then send them back.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33550300
No, then they'll claim the drive was ruined by you and then charge you for it.

Expert Comment

ID: 33550304
The Sage is 100% correct (>95%). Physical destruction is the only way and is also the norm for regulated industries and the fact there are commercial entities that offer, at a price,  physical destruction of hard drives, tapes etc. is a testimonial to the above. You cannot count on anything else. Nothing.

Featured Post

Get 15 Days FREE Full-Featured Trial

Benefit from a mission critical IT monitoring with Monitis Premium or get it FREE for your entry level monitoring needs.
-Over 200,000 users
-More than 300,000 websites monitored
-Used in 197 countries
-Recommended by 98% of users

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

I previously wrote an article addressing the use of UBCD4WIN and SARDU. All are great, but I have always been an advocate of SARDU. Recently it was suggested that I go back and take a look at Easy2Boot in comparison.
In this article we will learn how to backup a VMware farm using Nakivo Backup & Replication. In this tutorial we will install the software on a Windows 2012 R2 Server.
This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing the necessary services and then configuring a Windows Server 2012 system as an iSCSI target. To install the necessary roles, go to Server Manager, and select Add Roles and Featu…

726 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question